Booming Job Market Will Force Many Underemployed Americans to Choose Between Over-Time and Leisure-Time; Women, Minorities to be Hardest Hit
W A S H I N G T O N -- Stung by the realization that President Bush will accomplish something never attained during Bill Clinton's "Miracle Economy" -- nine months straight of above-4% annualized GDP growth -- liberal and progressive economists announced the start of "A New Decade of Greed" which would rival that of Ronald Reagan.
"For many Americans, this will be a 'Nightmare Economy,'" blustered liberal blogger Brad DeLong. "For two long years, underemployed recent college graduates have been living on their mom's sofa in relative comfort. And when that kid's mom said, 'Hey, why don't you start looking for a job, instead of watching SuperFriends
re-runs all day?' he could always say, 'But Ma, look at the economy.' And that was a good excuse. But now-- with the economy generating 300,000 jobs per month, I don't know what that kid is going to say to his mother anymore.
"That kid is going to have to take that job at Morgan Stanley that he really doesn't want, and he can blame Karl Rove for that. It's positively disgusting for the Republicans to divide son from mother like that." Mr. DeLong sighs. "And Bush promised to be a 'uniter, not a divider.'"
Princeton economist Paul Krugman expressed similar misgivings. "What you have here is the unabashed unleashing of the forces of greed and repression," the diminutive dean said from his Princeton office. "All of a sudden, you're going to have businesses turning in big profits and hiring all sorts of new people. And that's just terrible, because, honestly, I've pretty much staked what's left of my reputation on a depression."
"It's would be a perversion of the natural business cycle to call this a 'recovery,'" said Robert Reich, the Secretary of Labor under Clinton, and also the answer to the trivia question "What bearded, gnome-like liberal economist is even shorter than Paul Krugman?"
Reich scoffed at the suggestion that the ecomony was "booming." "The natural, textbook business cycle consists of a 'Decade of Greed' when a Republican President presides over a booming economy, followed by 'the worst triple-dip depression since Herbert Hoover' when a Republican President presides over a recessionary economy," Mr. Reich said.
"That is then followed by a 'Miracle Economy When Everyone Gets Rich But It's Okay and Not Greedy At All Because Everyone is Very Progressive-Minded and Thinks Nice Thoughts About Greenpeace So There's No Reason to Feel Guilty About the Homeless Anymore,' and that of course is what we had under Clinton."
Reich shakes his head sadly. "'Recoveries,' 'booms,' 'decades of prosperity' and the like simply do not happen under Republican Presidents. Only Democratic Presidents can have a 'Miracle Economy.' With Republican Presidents, it's either Hooverville or a Decade of Greed. The former is bad, but the latter is really bad, because sometimes the public mistakenly assumes that a 'Decade of Greed' is actually just a period of wealth-creation and prosperity. And sometimes our friends in the media just aren't able to effectively explain the difference to the public, try as they might."
A completely random survey of a representative cross-section of moderate independent voters -- conducted at the Union Square Starbucks right after a Tori Amos "Rock for Vaginal Awareness" concert -- found that most Americans had a great deal of anxiety about the coming New Decade of Greed.
"Where all of these so-called 'new jobs' being created?" asked Susan Estrich, a completely apolitical college professor and political strategist who has in her past worked for both parties (the Democrats and the Greens). "So where are these jobs? In India? In China? In some backwater hillbilly state where cell-phone coverage is indifferent at best?"
"I'll believe that the economy is growing at a nearly 5% rate like I believe in those 'Weapons of Mass Destruction,'" said Paul Begala, a moderate, independent television personality with no strong political leanings.
"You know, they just make up those numbers," Mr. Begala explained. "They just flat-out make them up. If you look closely, you'll see they're always stabbing themselves in the thigh with a thumb-tack when they announce those numbers. And do you know why? That's to stop them from giggling. Without that tack sticking in their leg, they'd be giggling like retards at the zoo."
"This is the most reckless, irresponsible, arrogant, unilateralist administration in American history," said swing voter John F. Kerry, who said he is currently an "undecided voter" and "needs more information" to choose between President Bush and himself.
A high-ranking Bush Administration official just smiled when told about the announcement of a "New Decade of Greed." "Well," the official said, "I guess that means we're winning then."
First Quarter Growth Said to Exceed 5%
First Time in Ten Years Growth Has Beaten 4% For Three Straight Quarters
Sorry for the double-siren. But this is a huge story that completely rubbishes all previous assumptions about the 2004 election.
We're not just being optimistic, or trying to bait liberals. This is a sea-change.
CBS MarketWatch's headline, not ours:
First-quarter GDP another scorcher
WASHINGTON (CBS.MW) -- For the third quarter in a row, U.S. economic growth has exceeded all expectations.
Following a blowout third quarter and a very strong fourth quarter, most economists expected the economy to pause just a bit in the first three months of 2004.
Instead, growth apparently accelerated, boosted by consumer spending, business investment, housing and inventory stocking.
The first estimate of first-quarter growth will be released by the Commerce Department on Thursday morning. The report is the highlight of another fairly busy week on the economic calendar.
Economists surveyed by CBS MarketWatch expect, on average, annualized growth of 5 percent in the first quarter after 4.1 percent growth in the fourth quarter and 8.2 percent in the third. See Economic Calendar.
It would be the first time in 10 years that growth exceeded 4 percent for three straight quarters.
The Worst Economy Since Hoover Producing the Strongest Factory-Growth Since Reagan
Actually, there's little need to substitute our own headline for this piece. Let's go with the AFP headline:
Sizzling factory sector data shows US economy in high gear
WASHINGTON (AFP) - A blockbuster
report from the factory sector shows the US economy is shifting into high gear
, portending an end to the period of super-low interest rates, economists said.
The Commerce Department (news - web sites) said Friday that US orders for big-ticket "durable goods" jumped by a surprisingly strong
3.4 percent in March after an upwardly revised 3.8 percent gain in February.
The reported orders for long-lasting items such as airplanes, cars and washing machines shattered Wall Street estimates
for a 0.7 percent rise and suggested the US factory sector is stronger than believed.
"The economy is now firing on all cylinders. Consumers are spending, business investment is ramping up, exports are rising and inventories are being rebuilt," said Sung Won Sohn, chief economist at Wells Fargo Bank, pegging first-quarter economic growth at five percent.
In related news, Princeton Paranoiac Paul Krugman was said to be "exploring" the idea of departing from the field of economics and opening his own hair and nail salon.
"Right now the only thing holding me back is coming up with a 'cute' name for the business," the li'l liberal said. "It seems sort of a rule that you need such a 'punny' name for a nail salon. And all the good ones are already taken. Right now I'm playing around with 'Nailed
by Our Extremist Theocratic Fascist Overlords,' but I don't know if I can fit all that on a sign."
Oh, and there's just one more thing:
Sorry to pop back in like Columbo, but we thought it was worth noting that...
...the election is over. On April 23, 2004, Bush won the November 2, 2004 election, winning over 300 electoral votes.
Congratulations, President Bush!
(The only caveat here is this: A terrorist attack which either derails the economic boom, or seems to be of the sort that Bush should have prevented, will make the election competitive again. Barring that: It's over.)
Document: Itinerary for Democratic National Convention
One of Donald Luskin's readers apparently discovered the top-secret document left behind on a Starbuck's table.
(This is a humorous piece. It's not real.)
The "Arab Way of War"
The Belmont Club traces it to Algeria:
A generation obsessed with Vietnam was blind to the fact that the Algerian war provided a far more powerful model of offensive action against the West than Indochina. It was always impossible for Giap to transport his coolies and NVA regiments overseas, but it was clearly feasible, indeed only a matter of time before the Arabs extended their operations overseas. And extend it they did. The methods of assassination, terrorism, intimidation and political warfare rapidly became internationalized, reaching Europe as early as 1972 during the Munich Olympics. It took easy root in the secret societies of the Middle East and spread outward from there. When radical Islamism found its confidence in Afghanistan and its money in Saudi Arabia, it found its weapon in terrorism: the Arab Way of War. From the very beginning the plan of campaign was never strictly military. It was always politico-military, tuned to the internal weaknesses of the Western enemy. The French had been understandably evicted from Indochina by being militarily beaten by the Vietnamese. But the French had been ousted from Algeria -- part of Metropolitan France -- despite beating the FLN; that was the lesson and legacy of Algeria.
Slow News-Day Make-Fun
So, for the wymyn out there, and for our three gay readers (we're looking at you, "Gay Dean"), FloridaCracker's posting beefcake shots of Andre Agassi.
We've got half a mind to retaliate in kind. The only thing stopping us is, well, doing so would seem a bit Oliver Willis-ish.
And we can't go down that road. We just can't.
Slow News-Day? What about the death of Pat Tillman?
We don't know what to say about this, exactly.
First of all, there hardly seems much reason to post about it ourselves, since the story is on Drudge, which means everyone has read it.
And we feel a little strange praising Tillman. Not because he wasn't a hero and the sort of man we'd all like to be if we could. But because there are hundreds of heroes just like him who've died in the service of protecting those of us less strong, less courageous, and less, well, good
back here on the homefront.
So we're confused about how to praise Tillman while also not seeming to denigrate the heroism and sacrifice of a thousand other heroes. Maybe it will come to us as the day goes on.
Here's Something: Michele at ASV manages a decent tribute to both Tillman and the thousands of men just like him.
also eulogizes Tillman. Tillman had a 3.84 GPA and graduated in 3 1/2 years. In addition to being a standout football player.
calls Tillman "Captain America." The title fits.
Beltway Boys Predict: Toomey in Upset Over Specter (R-Brigadoon)
We're bad at making predictions ourselves, but maybe Barnes & Kondracke are better.
The popular weekly political talk show "Beltway Boys" on the Fox News Network predicted an upset win by conservative Congressman Pat Toomey against Incumbent RINO Senator Arlen Specter. To the surprise of many inside the Washington DC beltway, a solid pro-life Republican who will support President Bush in judicial nominations and in tax policy is on the verge of an upset victory over the liberal Senator who has fought the President on both crucial issues.
In the past couple of weeks the relatively unknown Toomey has soared in the polls and should be well in the lead by Election Day if the current trends continue. While Toomey has motivated supporters and turnout by conservatives should be very good, Specter has resorted to desperate tactics by encouraging liberal Democrat union members to register to vote as Republicans promising that they can immediately return to the Democrat Party.
Mort Kondracke was quoted as saying, "I think Toomey's surge is largely due to the coveted Ace of Spades HQ endorsement. There are at least six Pennsylvanian regulars at his site, and at least two of them are registered to vote."
But seriously: If you're a Pennsylvanian conservative, vote.
A Coveted Ace of Spades HQ Endorsement
Well, if you're reading the Internet at all, you probably know that conservative Pat Toomey is challenging "the Scottish Senator" Arlen Specter for the Pennsylvania Republican Senate nomination.
Our usual impulse is a conservative one. Not "conservative" politically, but "conservative" in pragmatic terms of "Who has a better shot of winning the actual election?" Specter gets only 42% lifetime rating from the ACU, but surely that's better than a Democrat would offer.
But the hell with that. George Bush has made this an election of rolling the dice and betting big. Why stop now?
The National Review
lays out the case against Specter-- and man, is it a beaut.
This man has been attacking the Republican Party from within for 20 years.
It is time for him to go.
Worse case scenario-- Toomey beats Specter, but then loses in the general election. Not such a big deal-- Specter could lose, too.
And there would be a side-benefit. We're sick of liberal Republicans holding the party hostage. We keep re-electing them again and again, because we're afraid to jeopardize their precious seats and lose them to Democrats.
Enough already. Simply defeating Specter at the primary level would send a clear, strong message to Lincoln Chaffee, Olympia Snowe, and the rest of them: Our support is not to be taken for granted; you are supposed to be representing your actual constituents, not trying to appear "reasonable" to the New York Times editorial page.
Voltaire said the English used to randomly hang one of their admirals on occasion, pour encourager les autres
("to encourage the others").
Even if Toomey loses in the general election, we still win.
Get the gallows ready for our Scottish Admiral Specter.
Andy Rooney? Or Joseph Goebbels? You Make the Call!
finds an eerie similarity between Andy Rooney's five questions for our soldiers in the field and five questions asked by the Nazis on propaganda leaflets.
tell the difference?
a. Do you think your country did the right thing sending you into [war]?
b. Are you doing what America set out to do , or have we failed so badly that we should pack up and get out before more of you are killed?
c. Are you certain of finding a job if you get back to the United States safe and sound from the war?
d. Do the orders you get handed down from one headquarters to another, all far removed from the fighting, seem sensible, or do you think our highest command is out of touch with the reality of your situation?
e. If you could have a medal or a trip home, which would you take?
f. Are you encouraged by all the talk back home about how brave you are and how everyone supports you?
g. What security have you for your existence if you come back from the war sick, wounded, minus a limb, or even blinded?
h. Is you family sufficiently provided for if you are one of the many who will never see American again?
i. Didja ever notice how Jews
are polluting the purity of our Volk-Blut
? And didja ever notice that animalistic Negro Jazz
is corrupting the morals our precious Aryan Jungen
? Don't you think our youth should be listening to The Merry Widow
and Wagner, rather than these unaussprechlich
voodoo rhythms? And didja ever notice that it's hard to get the caps off of your hemmorhoid creams? And what's the deal with Gypsys and homosexuals?
Okay, okay, so we made up that last one.
How did you do on the others? Check Travelling Shoes' site to see how good you are at telling Andy Rooney from Joseph Goebbels!
What about that rule that the first person to call his opponent a "Nazi" loses the argument?
Well, obviously, we're not the first. There have been at least 18 bazillion Nazi-calls by the left in the past two years alone.
Secondly, we didn't call Andy Rooney a Nazi. He's not a Nazi. It's just that his defeatist propagada seems, well, a little Nazi-esque
See? That's fair to do. Just like the mainstream media realizes it's rude to outright call someone a "racist," and so instead simply brands 90% of all Republicans "racially insensitive." You add a couple of superfluous syallables and bingo! You're sending the same exact message, but in more "civil" terms.
John Kerry: "I don't own an SUV... the family has it"
That's John "I voted for it before I voted against it" Kerry responding to a question about the SUV kept at his Idaho mansion.
A rather thin distinction, to say the least. The man just gets more and more fucking nuanced
every day, don't he?
Thanks to Kausfiles,
who is apparently thisclose
to declaring Kerry all done.
Smells Like Teen Realignment
Kerry loses advantage in the vaunted "youth vote."
How can this be? Haven't the youngsters heard that...
...John Kerry rocks
In fact, he's been known to "rock the house."
It's a win-win situation. Not only does Bush blunt the Democrats' historic advantage with the dopiest segment of the voting public -- sorry, young voters! But you know it's true, as a group -- but maybe MTV will see their attempts to animate young leftists are futile and perhaps even counter-productive.
If we never hear "Choose or Lose" again, it will be too soon.
Why is Kerry faltering with young people? We don't know. But let's talk out of our asses anyway:
It's the standard, dopey Democratic play to get young people to vote Democratic by having their current standard-bearer break out the folksie douche-boy guitar and start acting all "mellow" and shit. Young people are not impressed by such jackassery. They don't think the folksie douche-boy guitar is "cool," particularly when wielded by a 65-year-old patrician douche-boy.
It's not merely patronizing. It's not merely ludicrous. It's not merely a sledgehammer reminder that the person in question is not "cool," but is in fact as un-cool as one of your parents' dorkier, weirder accountants. The creepy one, the bald one with the long braided hippy-ponytail, the one that freaks out your girlfriend by seeming too interested in Ecstacy, GHB, rufies, and "whatever else you wonderful young folk are into these days."
It's also blindingly inauthentic.
Young people put a lot of stock in "authenticity" -- too much, really, we think. Nevertheless, some respect for real authenticity is warranted.
Bush is not a hip guy. He couldn't be less hip if he had a full radical pelvic-ectomy.
If you ask him what his favorite rock n' roll song is, he'll first blink at you as if you have three heads. And then, more likely than not, he'll say, "Oh, I really like Pac Man Fever.
I like novelty songs with space-age computerized sound effects."
Now that is a hopelessly un-cool response. But as un-cool and un-hip as that is, it is undeniably authentic. He's not putting on airs, not trying to play at being cool.
If there's one thing worse than being uncool, it's making very clumsy and comical stabs at appearing cool. It's far better to accept and own
one's uncool than to engage in sitcom-worthy Urkel-esque attempts to convince the world you're something you're not.
Neither of these two soon-to-be-pensioners will ever be confused with being cool or hip. But only Bush has any appeal as an authentic guy, whereas Kerry looks like the manipulative, shallow, douche-boy patronizing pandering princeling phony he is.
But what about the issues?!
We don't think most people vote on "the issues." Ideologues do, but they're -- or should we say, we're
-- a minority.
Most people vote on personality, affability, authenticity, character, and cultural affinity. People who drink chablis spritzers will vote for Kerry because they figure he's like them, and that he too drinks chablis spritzers. People who drink Budweiser will vote for Bush, because they figure he drank Bud, at least he did before he went off the sauce.
People tend to vote on proxy-issues. They ask the question, "Which candidate is most like me/shares my values?" and then assume that the candidate most like themselves will vote the way they want on the issues -- or the way they would
want on the issues, if they bothered too much to examine them -- and then vote for that person.
It's not the best way to vote, but it more or less works with a small investment in homework and "issue" analysis.
So the proxy issue for young voters is: Do I want to vote for the guy who thinks the height of rock 'n roll excellence is You Should Hear (How She Talks About You)
by Melissa Manchester?
Or... do I vote for...
...this braying jackass?
We can't speak for young people, but we would say that at least You Should Hear
has a bouncy, throwaway charm to it.
John Kerry warbling All Along the Watchtowers
just sounds like a fucking nightmare.
Another Update! Keggin at Thunder Monkey
brings this cornucopia of jackassery to our attention:
All that's missing is Hero John knocking around a hacky-sack in his OP t-shirt and Vans.
Liquid Armor and Airborne Lasers
may provide state-of-the-art ballistic protection to future troops.
First integrated test of anti-ballistic laser-jet.
And in related news...
United States Marines express "interest" in John Fabulist Kerry's patented "flyin' Wonderdog" technology:
Photo Credit: Allah Pundit's Flyin' Wonderdog Media Group
Jobless Claims (Yawwwn) Fall Again
Sorry to keep boring everyone with this dreadfully-dull news.
We know it's dull, because the mainstream media won't report it. What other reason could they possibly have?
At any rate:
WASHINGTON - Fewer people signed up for jobless benefits last week, a sign that companies are feeling less inclined to slash their work forces now that the economy is rebounding.
The Labor Department (news - web sites) reported Thursday that new applications filed for unemployment insurance dropped by a seasonally adjusted 9,000 to 353,000 for the week ending April 17. The decline, which came after new applications rose sharply in the previous week, left claims at a level that was higher than the 340,000 analysts were expecting.
Still, the overall trend in new jobless claims filings has been a slow drift downward. Claims hit a high last year of 444,000 in the middle of April. This year, new filings for jobless benefits each week have managed to stay under 400,000, a sign that the jobs market is getting better, economists say.
In related news, a clearly-deranged Paul Krugman was spotted shambling in a local 7-Eleven parking lot wearing nothing but an adult diaper and a Viking helmet, screaming at terrified schoolchildren. Police said his words were incomprehensible, but seemed to be a mixture of John Kerry campaign slogans, standard lunatic gibberish, and Hungarian Gypsy-curses.
Which "Which Are You?" Quiz Are You?
You are a wise-cracking loose-cannon who plays by his own rules. You're the "Which Vega$ Character Are You?" Quiz. But you have a mix of real anger. So you are also partly the "Which Falling Down Character are You?" Quiz.
No offense-- but is anyone as sick to death of these "Which Character are You?" quizzes as we are? Didn't they sort of jump the shark some time ago?
Maybe we're just annoyed that we turned out to be "Mel" in the "Which Alice
character are you?" quiz. We always saw ourselves as more of the well-kiss-my-grits type.
Now Here's Some John Kerry-Style Diplomacy
All right, all right. You can have your nukes. But I draw the line at anal... Why are you giving me that look? What have you heard?
to GregD and RDBrewer.
Kerry Rues Clues He Might Lose Jews-- Redux
There's an angle on it this time 'round:
NEW YORK - Major American Jewish organizations are praising President Bush (news - web sites)'s support for Israeli plans to withdraw from Gaza and maintain some settlements in the West Bank-- but a few groups are criticizing him.
Jewish voters are being courted by both Republicans and Democrats, but many Jewish groups see little difference on Israel between Bush and challenger John Kerry (news - web sites).
Give it time. Bush has telegraphed his punch, here. His prominent mention of the murder of innocent Jews in his press conference shows his hand. He'll be making the differences stark. More on this at the end of the quotes.
The president was blunter than his predecessors in supporting Israel on settlements, borders and the Palestinian refugees' right to return to homes they lost in Israel's 1948 war for independence. Arabs are outraged, saying it confirms their view that the United States isn't an unbiased go-between in the conflict.
Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, called Bush's new position, set down in a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (news - web sites), "a bold and historic step." In 2002, Bush broke taboos by endorsing Palestinian statehood, and now he has broken taboos by saying the Palestinians will not get everything they want, Foxman said.
Foxman said he sees overwhelming support for Bush and Sharon in the American Jewish community but expects Israel to be just one of many issues for Jewish voters in the November presidential election.
Okay. We think Bush is making all the right moves substantively, but it doesn't hurt that he's making the right political moves, too.
Bush can pretty much write off the Arab-American vote. He's not going to win Michigan anyway, if the current polls hold.
Will he win the Jewish vote? Of course not. He'll make some inroads, but the Jewish vote will largely remain Democratic.
But here's the interesting wrinkle: Ralph Nader is anti-Israel. Oh, wait, not "anti-Israel," our mistake. He just thinks we should have "balance" and an "even-handed approach" in the ongoing dispute between Palestinians who want to kill Jews and Jews who inconveniently wish to continue living.
There is a limit to how closely Kerry can attempt to track Bush's pro-Israel moves and rhetoric before he begins losing hard-core "anti-war" pro-Palestinian votes.
Israel is a wedge issue. Not a huge one, but a useful one nevertheless. Kerry can't keep both his Jewish Democratic supporters and
his "anti-war" Rachel Corrie Brigades equally happy simultaneously. He can try to fudge it, but people are getting hip to Kerry's vacuous double-talk.
Even Kerry's slavish love of our "great friends and allies" might come under increasing scrutiny from Democratic-leaning Jews. At some point, Jewish supporters of Israel just might notice that the "great friends and allies" Kerry is always on about seem to want Israelis isolated, condemned, and made to apologize for their continuing stubborn insistence on simple survival.
Bush will press the issue, because doing so forces Kerry to talk more about it, and the more Kerry talks about it, the more voters he'll lose from one pool or another.
Try as he might, he can't be, as usual, on both sides of the issue at once.
Jon Bon Jovi ("Who?!") Rocks it Old School
Liberal-activist-slash-talking-wig Jon Bon ("Who?!"
) Jovi moderately-entertained the liberal troops at a recent Kerry rally. His rousing solo performance of You Give Love a Bad Name
was said to generate "a smattering of half-hearted applause."
AllahPundit, Who is Wise and Mighty and Gets Tickets to Everything, was there to snap pictures. The picture from the main event is great,
but the snaps from the after-party are downright hilarious.
John Kerry can really "rock it out" too, damn it! Alarming News has a hilarious Kerry campaign ad
which you'll think must be a photo-shop-- but it's not
! It's from Kerry's actual campaign site.
Up, Up, and Away
The markets seem to be figuring out that the threat of rising interest-rates somewhere down the road is a bit less important that surging profits, increasing jobs, rising productivity, and an all-around roaring economy.
One of the "Foreign Leaders" Kerry Met: Convicted Sinn Fein Terrorist Martin McGuinness
Boston Irish, who's sadly on hiatus, was on this when it first happened.
But Ipse Dixit is on it now,
and it remains important.
Spielberg to Make Film About Munich Olympics Massacre
Spielberg is just about the only director with the clout to make a film about such a "controversial" subject.
It's sad that in most of the world-- and in broad swaths of liberal America -- it remains "controversial" to insist that butchering innocent Israelis is somehow "wrong."
We suppose we should have some fear that Spielberg will make this into a "Why do they hate us?/Must be something we did" PC-fest. But we think that's pretty unlikely. Sure, he'll have to nod in the direction of Palestinian "rage."
But we don't think the guy who made Schindler's List
is going to end up suggesting that, while it was wrong for Hitler
to engage in genocide against the Jews, the Palestinians really do have a legitimate grievance justifying murder.
Big Questions: Will Spielberg make a point of showing the assembled athletes from all over the world smoking pot and listening to music while their fellow athletes were slaughtered? The other athletes were, by all accounts, blithely unconcerned about the butchery. It would make a very nice statement about the elite's lack of concern about mere Jews being killed by terrorism.
And will Spielberg deal with the especially "controversial" story of the German government arranging a fake-hostage situation as a pretext for releasing the Palestinian terrorists? We gotta think that at this point the man is rich enough to have purchased himself some guts.
Hi, gang. Michael Moore here. I had an interesting encounter in a diner and I thought I'd share it.
So me and Joe Palooka are sitting around at Mavis's diner talking.
Joe looks at me. His eyes are wet with anger.
I push a large joint of mutton down my enormous feeding orifice. The bones crack and pop like July fireworks as my massive tusks rend the meat and work the bone into a thick paste.
"How could they do this?!?" Joe wants to know. His hands tremble, as if palsied. "How could these rotten bastards push Saddam Hussein out of office?!"
It's a good question, no doubt. I wish I could answer it. I wish I could answer another question-- How can I eat this cheesesteak, this Monte Cristo, and that four-gallon tank of pork lard simultaneously, when I have only two hands?
"Saddam Hussein was just an innocent genocidal madman," Joe sniffs. "He never did any arm to anyone. Or, at least, not to anyone I know." Joe's a sensible man. That's a rare quality these days-- sense.
I'd like to tell him I respect his common sense, but I can't speak, as I currently have my entire ginormous freakhead stuffed into the rib-cage of dangling cow-carcass. I make animalsitic noises and rend with my powerful, overdeveloped jawmuscles, bulging and rippling like those of a sabre-tooth tiger, as I ponder my friend Joe.
I slice through bone and tendon and tough cartilege with my wickedly angled, sharklike incisors, sending bone-bits and glistening black puddings of coagulated intestinal blood sailing across the diner with each feral bite.
A pack of Guatemalan-Indian boys come into the diner, speaking Spanish. Or gibberish. Who can tell the difference?
They walk over to me and ask me to lift my t-shirt.
"What's this about?" Joe wants to know.
I lift my shirt and the boys begin scraping along the insides of my luxurious rolls of corpulent fat with old playing cards. One boy gently lifts my massive man-titty and collects a big dollop of a yellowish substance that resembles spoiled soft cheese.
"Oh, I'm just doing my bit to help a downtrodden minority," I explain to Joe. "The Indians have discovered that the pungent, semi-toxic munge that collects on my unwashed body is a powerful psychedelic drug of some sort. Ingesting my creamy sweat brings them to death's door, but it assists them in reaching the proper mental state for dream-quests."
"Sort of like peyote," Joe offers.
"My munge-cheese kicks peyote's ass to hell and back," I say with some degree of pride. "They call it La Mantequilla del Diablo
-- The Devil's Butter."
The boys end up filling an emptied grout-bucket with my powerful psychotropic man-filth. They thank me profusely, and then leave. They'll be having some powerful dream-quests tonight -- I can smell that I'm especially rancid today.
"It's the least I can do in George W. Bush's Amerikkka," I modestly explain to Joe.
"I don't even recognize America anymore," Joe sniffs.
I wipe a turkey drumstick from the corner of my eye. "It's all right, Joe," I say, or rather that's what I attempt to say. My words are interrupted by the squawkings of a live chicken which somehow manages to escape my all-consuming maw.
"There will be an election in November," I console Joe. I have now sprung to my feet in order to seize the escaped chicken. The fat ripples along my elephantine haunches as I coil to leap, lethal energy gathered to spring in a frozen moment, like the cocked hammer of a gun. A really fat gun.
"Never give up hope," I advise Joe as I leap over the assembled humanity in the cramped diner, my claws sprung out and shiny-deadly, my lard-dimpled jowls flapping in the indifferent April breeze.
The chicken dodges a slash from one of my mammoth fore-limbs. It dives beneath the seat of a six year old boy, a ruddy-cheeked, haystack-haired, gap-toothed reminder of what this nation is all about.
The boy is inconveniently providing cover for the miscreant fowl, so I snatch him up with one sweat-drooling meat-paddle and I drop him, alive and screaming in abject terror, down into my waiting throat.
My roiling gastric acids will take care of the kid. I've got no time to chew him.
The chicken runs.
"I'm hoping Wesley Clarke joins the ticket," I tell Joe as I bite out the throat of the boy's mother, who has, as you might well imagine, sprung to her feet to protest my devouring of her sparkled-eyed tyke. I slurp her still-pulsating gizzards down my slavering maw. "That would give us two candidates with combat experience, which our Idiot King Dumbya of course does not."
The chicken scampers over the well-worn hospital-green tiles of the ancient diner. It ducks through the doorway and exits to the street as a truck-driver enters the place.
Angry at the clumsiness of the truck driver, I snap at his head with my yawning pink vortex of saliva-drooling death, severing his head and neck at the clavicle. His body spews a riotously crimson fountain of blood at the ceiling, like he were some liquid roman candle.
The hot blood splatters on the diner's windows and steams.
"But November is such a long way away," Joe calls after me, but I'm on the street now, waddling like an enormous Sumo wrestler with a wedgie, my dainty-tiny feet pounding into the cool asphalt like fleshy jackhammers.
I hear the telltale whine of jet-engines-- F-15's, I'm sure. I've heard them before. I hear them everytime I go out on a citywide rampage.
I'll hear the rumbling of National Guard troop carriers soon enough as well-- a platoon of "mercenaries" out to chill my right to dissent. And my right to feed on human flesh.
"November is virtually tomorrow," I call back to Joe as I stoop to the ground to bite the mid-body out of a policeman's horse. Intestines ooze and slither out of the gaping wound like wet, grisly Slinkees. "It's just tomorrow. Just plan, and organize, and don't stop thinking about tomorrow!"
The F-15's scream down from the sky as they begin their attack run. My brunch with Joe will have to wait.
I leap into the cool, slimy waters of the East River as the air-to-ground missiles slam into the cityscape behind me.
The filthy river greets me like an old lover. A murky, green lover that smells of cabbage, burnt engine oil, and feet. It smells like... freedom.
The chicken has escaped.
But George Bush will not.
Washington DC is only a few days' swim from New York.
And I am hungry.
to Nick Kronos who originally wrote the Jimmy Breslin parody this is a variation of. He also tossed us the best line in the whole thing, "miscreant fowl."
A Happy Accident!
Serendipidously enough, Drudge just posted a story about Mike Moore, Hero of the Workin' Man, outsourcing his website work to Canada.
Islamist "Warriors" Engage and Destroy a Platoon of Schoolchildren
"Bring on more middle-school girls," one Islamist Hero Taunts
Hat tip to AllahPundit. The story's everywhere, of course, but we we saw this particular account on his site:
Iraqi insurgents targeted the British run city of Basra today killing at least 55 people, including ten children on their way to schools, in a series of bomb blasts.
The explosions ripped through three police stations and a police academy in the southern city.
At least 238 people were wounded in the attacks, the bloodiest in the usually peaceable mainly Shiite city since the occupation began a year ago.
Iraqis pulled charred and torn bodies from mangled vehicles in front of the Saudia police station by Basra’s crowded main street market.
Two vans carrying children were destroyed, one carrying youngsters on their way to nursery school, the other carrying middle-school girls.
Dead children, burned beyond recognition, were taken to hospital morgues.
There was no immediate word who was behind the attack.
We have our suspicions.
Another in a long line of great Islamist military triumphs. When it comes to killing "formations of enemies" gathering in pizza joints or at weddings, these guys truly are fearsome warriors.
The Islamist "warriors": what a sick joke. They'd probably win a fair fight against unarmed, unsuspecting middle-school girls nine falls out of ten, and yet they still
are so cowardly they have to engage in sneak assassinations.
Completely Apolitical Off-Topic Link
Donnie Darko is going to be re-released in director's cut format, featuring an additional 20 minutes of footage.
Why is this important?
It isn't. It's just... kinda interesting. If you haven't seen it, Donnie Darko
is a smartly-made, interesting movie which is entertaining throughout and which... sort of doesn't make any damn sense and lacks anything resembling a satisfying conclusion.
It's the sort of movie that makes you respect the writer, director, crew, and cast while you simultaneously are sort of "eh" on the whole endeavor.
Will the additional footage push the movie from the "interesting failure" category to true success? We don't know. We... doubt
And it's still got that horribly stupid title. "Donnie Darko"? Was the director actively trying to tank his own movie? Was that title the result of a losing bar-bet?
Still, the younger brother of one of our myriad contributors must be pleased. He's been trying without success to make the key
Donnie Darko quote, "Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion," the next "All your base are belong to us." He's got to be stoked.
Afterthought Political Tie-In!
We forgot-- the whole film takes place right before the 1988 elections, and there's some good Family Ties
-ish family bickering over Bush and Dukakis. Dad supports Bush, the hippie-dippy (but cute) daughter (Maggie Gyllenhaal, by the way) is, of course, Dukakis all the way.
"Beige Book" Reports Strong, Widespread Economic Growth
Just a tease so far:
"Economic activity increased across the nation," the Beige Book said. "The growth was widespread." Retail sales improved, while manufacturing, mining, tourism and services all grew. Commercial real estate markets remain a soft spot. Meanwhile, labor markets "tightened somewhat with modest wage increases," the report said.
Our political moods plunge and soar with Bush's poll numbers. We're not the most sober or detached of political analysts.
But bear in mind: Bush is at 50% or so when the public erroneously believes him to be presiding over "the worst economy in modern memory."
What happens when the actual economic news gets out?
Yawwwwn: IMF Predicts Fastest US Growth in 20 Years in 2004
The administration with the worst economic record since Hoover is projected to grow the nation's economy at the fastest rate since Reagan:
WASHINGTON (AP) - The global economy, after being battered by recession, terrorist attacks and war, should grow strongly this year and next with growth in the United States hitting the fastest pace in 20 years, the International Monetary Fund predicted Wednesday.
The IMF significantly increased its growth forecast both for the United States and the global economy in its latest World Economic Outlook.
For the United States, the IMF predicted growth this year of 4.6 percent, which if it comes true, would be the fastest growth rate since the U.S. economy expanded by 7.2 percent in 1984. That represented a 0.7 percentage point increase in the IMF's September forecast.
Awesome! But is there any bad news
However, the IMF downgraded its forecast for a number of countries in Europe which have been struggling to find the right mix of policies to bolster lagging growth. Countries using the euro, which has hit record highs recently against the falling dollar, will see growth of just 1.7 percent this year as the weaker dollar boosts the competitiveness of U.S. exports against European products.
Errr, we asked about bad
news, but whatever. Thanks for the info.
And why are the US and global economies (apart from Europe, we mean) growing at such a torrid pace?
The IMF gave credit to President Bush's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts and low interest rates engineered by the Federal Reserve for fueling this year's economic rebound.
No wonder the left keeps protesting the IMF. They keep saying the wrong kind of things.
Kausfiles-ish Inside-Baseball Speculation!
Bush and Cheney will yap with the intensely-partisan 9-11 commission on April 29.
The Commerce Department will release its 2004 first-quarter growth estimate on April 29.
Is Bush expecting good news on April 29? Good enough to compete favorably with whatever nonsense comes out of his meeting with the partisan 9-11 commission?
Only a couple of hundred mid-level bureaucrats know for sure.
Ministry of Silly Links
Just as we're nearly going bonkers about our servers being down in Chicago and Los Angeles -- damn that lying Liu-ser! -- Aaron Burr helps bring our blood pressure down by sending us a link to the top ten worst album covers of all time.
This album cover clocks in at Number Nine:
We think Joyce wuz robbed. There must have been some chads dangling over at this blog. Only the "whiff of facism in the air" could deny "Joyce" her rightful place as Number One.
Although, to be fair, the actual Number One is pretty awful, too.
Actually, they're all bad. Really, really bad. Maybe Joyce doesn't deserve to be ranked higher. After all, there's nothing really wrong with her album cover; she's just a rather plain-looking woman holding a rose.
On the other hand, the band "Orleans" has some explaining to do. What were they thinking? It's not just that this album cover screams "gay." A lot of album covers do that. But usually they're by gay or gay-ish bands.
We have a feeling that these guys are actually straight. They just thought it would be really cool to get naked and touch each other for their album cover.
Does that kind of thing ever happen outside of fraternities? We guess it does.
Kerry Again Attempts to Have it Both Ways on OPEC Oil
We're glad someone else said it. We hate having to state the obivious ourselves:
Scarcely a month ago, presumptive Democratic nominee was chiding Mr. Bush for his failure to engage Middle Eastern oil producers. In a March 30 statement, Mr. Kerry claimed, "I'll use real diplomacy to do what George Bush hasn't -- pressure OPEC to start providing more oil." The release added, "As president, John Kerry will engage in diplomacy to ensure that U.S. consumers are not held hostage to price fixing by OPEC." A few days later, Mr. Kerry said, "By treating the Saudis with kid gloves, the president is giving them the green light to produce less oil and drive prices up."
Mr. Kerry cannot have it both ways on this point. Mr. Bush cannot be in intimate collusion with the Saudis to reduce oil prices at the precise moment he needs an election boost, while at the same time having completely ineffective negotiations with them to increase oil supplies.
Similarly, Kerry criticizes Bush every day for exposing American troops' lives to danger in Iraq, but then whines about the June 30 transfer-of-power being a political expediency.
Which is it, John? You can't have it both ways. Do you want troops exposed to danger longer? Then say so. Do you want them exposed to danger for a briefer period of time? Then say that
, but then stick to one answer, if you'd do us that small favor. You can't be in favor simultaneously of cutting and running and
sticking and fighting.
This is the left's constant bleat. They complain when Bush doesn't solve problems, but they really
complain when he does
It's the latter that really wounds them. Failing to solve problems may hurt Americans, but that's no big deal.
Actually solving problems hurts liberals' electoral chances, and that's the insult they just can't leave unpunished.
Tony Blankley on the Sharon-Bush Push for Unilateral Peace
Definitely worth reading in full:
For a generation, Israel, America and Europe have been seeking peace between the Jews and the Palestinians on the theory of good-faith negotiations between the parties. But Mr. Arafat's rejection in 2000 of the Clinton-brokered best deal possible, compounded by the subsequent policy of suicide bombing Israeli civilians in Israel-proper, forced Old Man Sharon to think anew of how to gain peace for his people....
Mr. Sharon is consolidating Israel's position geographically, as he is consolidating his own political position domestically. He has been well on his way to the construction of a complete fence or wall that will protect Israel plus its major settlements on the West Bank. Now he is yielding Israeli settlements in Gaza and outriding settlements on the West Bank. In other words, thinking like a general, he is withdrawing from undefendable salients. The objective will be a fortress Israel that can stand until such time as the Palestinians may wish a permanent peace.
He couldn't consolidate Israeli geography without his right-wing support (which didn't want to give up its dream of an Israel of biblical geography in the West Bank). He couldn't gain that support without President Bush making a series of guarantees and policy pronouncements that would undercut the Israeli right-wing's support amongst their own rank file. ....
It was lucky for Mr. Sharon that he found in Mr. Bush a man who shared his realistic vision of peace and his courage to act. Mr. Bush and Mr. Sharon are demonstrating an almost Bismarkian diplomacy: shrewd, brutal, realistic
-- perhaps bloody -- but effective. They have definitively rejected the Eleanor Roosevelt/Madeleine Albright/Rodney King/ John Kerry/ "can't we all just get along" style of diplomacy.
We love that Wall. That Wall is saving lives.
Borders can always be redrawn. Taken property can always be compensated for. But people can't be wished back to life.
Brit Hume made an interesting point this week: The Israeli wall doesn't just save lives. It reduces the political usefulness of Palestinian terrorism.
All along, the Palestinians have been using murdered Israeli children as a bargaining chip in their "negotiations for peace."
We understand why the Palestinians would be angry about such a useful bargaining tool -- murder and mayhem -- being taken from them.
We're not quite sure why the "peace-minded" Europeans or American left would be angered.
And we're glad that President Bush has finally given up on the age-old unspoken but not-so-secret codicil uniting the western liberal elite which states that "murdering Jews is different" and shouldn't be punished.
What If?: Mohammed Atta's Lawsuit Against United Airlines
Only a snippet is available on-line; we've got a strong urge to buy the paper edition:
TED KOPPEL: "And so then what happened?"
MOHAMED ATTA: "Well, Mr. Koppel, as I was boarding the plane, or should I say, trying to board the plane, a uniformed officer took me aside . . ."
TED KOPPEL: "Just you?"
MOHAMED ATTA: "No, no. That's the thing. It wasn't just me. It was me and a guy named Abdulaziz Alomari, a guy named al-Shehri . . . and a couple of other guys. I mean, do you get it? Do you see what's going on here?"
TED KOPPEL: "Mr. Atta, if I may, it seems that what you're saying here . . ."
MOHAMED ATTA: "It's all in our lawsuit."
Is There Really a Social Security "Crisis"?
Or is the "crisis" merely kind which will require politicians to enact marginally-unpopular, but fairly minor, fixes which will cost them a couple of percentage points of popularity in the short term?
This game allowing you to fix Social Security by "enacting" changes would seem to indicate the former.
Just reducing the much-too-benefit COLAs by one-half percentage point gets us 37% of the way to solvency, the game claims.
Hat tip to Kausfiles.
Blogging Alert Level: Elevated
Well, as you might know, we at Ace of Spades HQ were involved in a dispute over payments to our syndicator, Albert Liu. He claimed the check bounced, but of course he's a lying Liu-ser. This resulted in blog black-outs in Chicago and Los Angeles (although our signal was reportedly quite strong in Portland; we like to say we "own" Portland).
We've had to scramble to get fresh server space.
We've done so, and all we had to do was displace three black-news websites, one Caribbean-interest website, five Spanish-language websites, and the website for the Mayo Clinic's Pediatric Practice.
Sure, we've silenced a few minority voices, and there's a bunch of sick kids who now can't get their diagnoses and prescriptions from Mayo Clinic, but we think that our Top Ten lists and rips on jackass celebrities are more important. We're equally sure that you agree.
Kate O'Beirne: Dogged Media is Not-Quite-So-Dogged on Kerry's Dubious Purple Hearts
It's a legitimate issue.
And it's legitimate to ask why the media isn't as interested in the topic as it's been in the past:
"I've had thorns from a rose that were worse," says Grant Hibbard, John Kerry's former commanding officer about the wound the senator received on December 2, 1968, that earned him his first Purple Heart award. Earlier this month, the Boston Globe reported that Hibbard is among the Vietnam veterans who are questioning the awards that sent John Kerry home early from Vietnam. The controversy prompted Tim Russert to ask Kerry this past Sunday whether he would release all of his military records, including medical records and his officer evaluations. Kerry assured Russert that they're already publicly available at his headquarters. But they're not. And the tragic suicide of the Navy's Admiral Mike Boorda in 1996 is a reminder of why the media should be clamoring for their release.
The Boston Globe took Kerry at his word and headed to his campaign office to look at the records the senator claimed would be available, only to be told nothing further would be released. "All" of the military records Russert asked about would not be made available after all, including the medical records from his second and third purple hearts, and his officer evaluations....
In 1996, a left-wing news service raised questions about two small "V" clips that the chief of Naval operations [Admiral Boorda] wore over two of the medals on his chest full of them. The clips are awarded for valor under fire, and there was some doubt about whether Boorda's two tours in Vietnam aboard combat ships qualified him for the awards, although the Washington Post reported that a 1965 Navy manual appeared to support Boorda's right to wear the clips. Unlike Kerry, the awards did not provide grounds for Boorda to shorten his tours of duty.
Hours before he was scheduled to meet with Newsweek reporters to discuss the controversy, the admiral went to his home at the Navy Yard and shot himself in the chest.
Evan Thomas, then Newsweek's Washington bureau chief who was scheduled to interview , explained that he was devastated by his death, but defended his magazine's pursuit of the combat award story. "We've got to do our job," he said. "Part of that job is checking on the truthfulness of people in positions of power. Like the admiral." And, like a prospective president. So far, Newsweek has ignored the controversy over John Kerry's awards.
The media is fond of stating "objective rules" which justify its hounding of people it doesn't favor. But then, when it comes to people they favor engaging in similar shenanigans, it always turns out the "objective rules" aren't really "rules" at all.
More like loose guidelines.
John "Frugal" Kerry
He's quite careful with his own money:
Like Al Gore, who donated a miserly $353 to charity as vice president in 1997, John Kerry may be a serial cheapskate.
During the early 1990s, with no apparent presidential aspirations, Kerry contributed the following amounts: $0 in 1991; $820, 1992; $175, 1993; $2,039, 1994; and $0, 1995. Last year, however, after media attention, he gave $43,735.
However, it was painless giving. Kerry published a book -- still available in discount bins -- spelling out his positions on public policy issues. He is drawing from the proceeds to pay his taxes and giving the rest to charity.
In other words, he's polishing his image with proceeds from a book written to further his political career.
Kerry and his wife have a combined net worth between $664 million and $760 million and, because the charitable con- tributions come from the book proceeds, they won't draw down the family treasury.
The question Kerry still needs to answer, however, is why he isn't as generous with his own vast personal wealth as he is with tax money forcibly extracted from everyone else.
Washington Post Catches Kerry Careening Again
WE NEED A reasonable plan and a specific timetable for self-government" in Iraq, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) said in December. "That means completing the tasks of security and democracy in the country -- not cutting and running in order to claim a false success." On another occasion, he said: "It would be a disaster and a disgraceful betrayal of principle to speed up the process simply to lay the groundwork for a politically expedient withdrawal of American troops."
Contrast that with what Mr. Kerry told reporters last week: "With respect to getting our troops out, the measure is the stability of Iraq. [Democracy] shouldn't be the measure of when you leave. I have always said from day one that the goal here . . . is a stable Iraq, not whether or not that's a full democracy."
Mr. Kerry contends that he has not shifted his public position. But there are major differences between what he said in December -- right after Saddam Hussein's capture, when Mr. Kerry was seeking to discredit dovish Democratic challenger Howard Dean -- and his remarks last week, which followed several weeks of bad news from Iraq and growing public disenchantment with the course of the war. Where once he named democracy as a task to be completed, and the alternative to "cutting and running" or a "false success," Mr. Kerry now says democracy is optional. Where once he warned against setting the conditions for an early but irresponsible withdrawal of U.S. forces, now he does so himself by defining the exit standard as "stability," a term that could describe Saudi Arabia or Iran -- or the Iraq of Saddam Hussein.
Mr. Kerry now argues that there is a third option. But what would that be? "I can't tell you what it's going to be," he said to reporters covering his campaign. "That stability can take several forms." True; in the Middle East, there is the stability of Islamic dictatorship, the stability of military dictatorship and the stability of monarchical dictatorship. In Lebanon, there is the stability of permanent foreign occupation and de facto ethnic partition. None is in the interest of the United States; all have helped create the extremism and terrorism against which this nation is now at war.
...The past weeks of violence have been, or should have been, sobering to any observer. Yet on goals Mr. Bush is right, not only in a moral sense but from the perspective of U.S. security too.
We believe a successful political outcome is still possible; others disagree. But Mr. Kerry's shift on such a basic question after just a few months is troubling and mistaken.
Battle Manual of the USS Clueless
If you're as geeky as we are -- and, based upon your appreciation for D&D jokes, it seems you are -- you'll enjoy Steven den Beste's analysis of what real starfleet battles might eventually look like.
Shock: Air America Isn't Funny
Not funny? How could it be not funny?
It's got Al Franken, Jeneane Garofalo, and Marc "Who?" Maron.
Here's what we found especially annoying:
In a country in which 64% of the public say they attend weekend worship services at least once a month, mocking religion might not be the most effective way to win converts — and yet, on Good Friday no less, that's exactly what the various Air America hosts repeatedly did.
Two of the hosts gratuitously announced that they're Jewish, and one — Marc Maron of the network's "Morning Sedition" program — went on to make fun of Easter and Christmas rituals. Then, in a segment he called "morning devotional," Maron began his prayer for divine guidance on behalf of President Bush by saying, "Dear Lord, what the hell is going on up there?"
Another host — I think it was Rachel Maddow on "Unfiltered," though I couldn't always distinguish her voice from that of co-host Lizz Winstead — called Easter "an odd celebration" and said that a taxi driver had told her that "someone in a Jesus suit" would carry a cross along 42nd Street in New York in a reenactment of the events of Good Friday, "but in this case, he'll stop to buy a fake Louis Vuitton bag."
With all due respect, one of the tenets of liberalism, we thought
, was a decent amount of public respect for others' religions.
The same people who cry over phantasmal slights against their own religion, or lack thereof, apparently don't see any inconsistency in repeatedly mocking a faith cherished by millions.
We have to say that one of the only
things we find worthy in the liberal program is its stated
committment to promoting respect for other races, modes of living, and religion.
But we're constantly slack-jawed at the level of anti-christian venom these people spew. We don't get the liberal blast-fax memos, but we'd like one of our liberal readers to please provide for us the memo in which it is stated that "Americans should show a decent respect for the differing religions (or 'faith communities,' in liberalspeak; part of the appeal of liberalism is replacing perfectly servicable words and phrases with jackass euphemisms) amongst Americans and people globally, except Christianity
We'd also like the memo detailing the reasons for excluding Christianity from this general duty of respectfulness.
We here at Ace of Spades HQ have a tremendous amount of respect for the Jewish religion, or Jewish faith-community tradition-ensemble folklore-cycle, or whatever the hell else "religion" is supposed to be called to avoid phatasmal insults. And for non-practicing, non-believing Christians (post-Christian Gaia Gnostic neo-traditionalist faith-communitarians) as well as atheists (people belonging to communities of non-faith and believers in non-traditions).
We just that non-Christians on the angry left would be a little more diligent about showing Christians the same consideration in return.
Seriously-- how do you spend all day spewing venom upon practitioners of a religion that differs from your own, and then piously whine about the need for Christians to respect your own faith-community spirituality-covenants?
This isn't really a subtle hypocrisy, difficult to see unless one strains really hard looking for it. It's sort of right there.
Via Spot On.
Tomb of Spanish Anti-Terror Cop Desecrated
FloridaCracker's got it.
Just a few more of those "bad apples" we hear so much about.
Update on John Kerry's Preferred Tax Rate
A while ago, way before Instapundit had heard anything about it, our blog-buddy Boston Irish noted that in Massachusetts, one is allowed to select a higher
tax rate for state taxes if one's conscience compels one to do so.
He wondered at the time which rate Kerry had chosen.
Howie Carr answers:
ON the issue of affluent Americans paying more income taxes, John Kerry is, as always, consistent in his inconsistency.
On the campaign trail, he's in favor of raising taxes on everybody who makes over $200,000 a year. Unless, of course, he's the one being asked to pay more, in which case, forget about it.
We know this because of a little whoopee cushion recently inserted into the income tax forms of his home state of Massachusetts.
Weary of liberals always clamoring for higher taxes on other people, an anti-tax group managed to place a line on the tax form giving Bay Staters the option of paying at the old, since-repealed 5.85 percent rate, rather than at the current 5.3 percent rate.
For two years now, John Kerry has had the opportunity to pay his "fair share." But like some Benedict Arnold CEO, the Democratic Party candidate for president has taken the money and ran.
"Why do you even call asking about this?" his spokesman, Michael Meehan, said Saturday morning. "He has made the same decision as 99.9 percent of his fellow Massachusetts residents."
Why ask about this? How about because Kerry claims to want to pay the higher rate, and yet avoids doing so when he can?
Actually, it's more like 99.97 percent. Of 2,104,326 Massachusetts state returns filed by April 15, exactly 624 taxpayers had opted to pay at the higher rate, a very small number indeed, considering that in a statewide referendum, 1,055,181 good liberals voted against cutting the income tax rate.
Kerry claimed income last year of $395,338, which means had he decided to assist the "most vulnerable members of society" etc., he would have owed an additional $2,174 - chump change, considering that his second wife is the 391st richest American, according to Forbes magazine, with a fortune of at least $550 million.
So... John Kerry thinks the rich should pay more, but he won't pay more himself unless threatened with criminal prosecution for evading taxes.
Carr goes on to note that, strangely enough, Kerry never seems to donate much to charity... except every six years, when he just happens to be up for re-election.
Blogging Alert Level: Low
Blogging will be a little sporadic and catch-as-catch-can today and tomorrow.
We're sorry, but we're still recovering from a concussion we received while walking our dog at the park at 5:00 AM.
Michelle Malkin on the Warpath
This nails it:
In an editorial that embodies the Left's unmitigated gall, the New York Times castigated President Bush for not doing enough after receiving an Aug. 6, 2001, briefing memo warning vaguely of bin Laden-planned domestic terrorism. According to the Times, Bush should have "rushed back to the White House, assembled all his top advisers and demanded to know what, in particular, was being done to screen airline passengers to make sure people who fit the airlines' threat profiles were being prevented from boarding American planes."
That's right. The same editorial board that has barbecued the Bush Justice Department after the Sept. 11 attacks for fingerprinting young male temporary visa holders traveling from terror-sponsoring and terror-friendly nations (editorial, June 6, 2002); temporarily detaining asylum seekers from high-risk countries for background screening (editorial, Dec. 28, 2002); and sending undercover agents to investigate mosques suspected of supporting terrorism (editorial, May 31, 2002) now expects us to believe it would have applauded Bush for his vigilance if he had swiftly ordered airport security officials to stop thousands of young Middle Eastern men at airports during the summer of 2001 on the basis of an ill-defined threat.
At the time Moussaoui was detained, the Justice Department had no evidence he had done anything illegal other than overstay his visit to the U.S., a transgression that is routinely pooh-poohed by liberals and other open-borders advocates as a "minor" or "technical" immigration violation that shouldn't be punished.
Unsurprisingly, when Attorney General John Ashcroft acted decisively to detain more than 1,200 potential Zacarias Moussaouis after Sept. 11 he was lambasted by Democrats, the ACLU, minority groups, and, yes, the New York Times editorial board, which attacked Ashcroft's "extreme measures" (Nov. 10, 2001) against illegal alien detainees who were merely "Muslim men with immigration problems" (Sept. 10, 2002).
Just an update to Ann Coulter's observation that liberals complain that Bush didn't take steps prior
to 9-11 that liberals stridently oppose after
March Leading Economic Indicators Rise, in Line with Expectations
March Leading Indicator Index Up 0.3 Percent
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. economy is gaining momentum and is on an upward trend that should boost second-quarter growth, a private research firm said on Monday.
The Conference Board's index of leading indicators, a gauge of activity over the next three to six months, rose 0.3 percent in March to 115.3, after holding steady in February.
The rise matched Wall Street economists' expectations.
"Economic growth in the first quarter was strong and the second quarter may be as good or better," said Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein in a statement. "The final shoe hit the floor in March when 308,000 new jobs were created."
The Commerce Department will announce its preliminary 1Q GDP growth estimate on April 29th.
Kevin Spacey: Claims "Mugged" in Park, Then Withdraws Complaint